Loft Conversions in the Current Housing Climate

Loft Conversions – involves converting your attic into a habitable living space. In the current climate, UK house prices are somewhat stagnant and I am including London in this statement. Those wanting to get on to the housing ladder need to have a significant deposit (atleast 25%) to obtain a decent mortgage interest rate. Landlords are the new capitalists and demanding high rents given the shortage in supply. It seems for many to be a losing battle whilst lives are literally put “on hold” and pumping more dead money into other peoples pockets.

The recent recession has created a baby boom – it is now blossoming and many families are out growing their current homes. Moving house on average cost atleast £8,000 taking into account estate agent fees, days off work, removal, storage costs, solicitors, bank charges not to forget the added stress as you go through the housing transactional process. This is why a loft conversion is strongly being considered by many especially those in London, who have built local ties and a feeling of community. It avoids the upheaval and there is no longer the requirement to detach oneself from the many happy memories they have built from their home. Kids are able to keep and build bonds with their friends.

A loft can be converted from as little as £24,000 and the process can take only 4 weeks.

Velux Loft Conversion

A velux loft conversion is the most cost effective way to convert your loft. It involves no external alterations. I would describe a velux loft conversion to be a roof with sloping window(s) pointing towards the sky.  They let in amples amount of light due to their fitting. It is known as a “velux” loft conversion – as velux are the leading window brand and manufacturer of these windows. The power of a brand can be defined with what velux have done with loft conversions. They have a very good product and offer a plethora of windows in their range. They even have solar panelled windows.

Due to the simplicity of a velux loft conversion in the majority planning permission is not required. If you have good existing headroom in your loft (3 meters and over) – I would always recommend a velux loft conversion. When considering a velux loft conversion always

– Check your existing roof height

– Where to best position the velux windows. Where does sun rise from?

– The style and size of the window

– Whether a velux loft conversion would satisfy your needs. A loft conversion specialist would be able to advise the best loft design for your house within regulations and budget.

If a velux loft conversion is not enough – you may want to consider a Dormer or Mansard Loft Conversion.

Did you know… A “Velux” loft conversion and a Rooflight loft conversion are the same thing. This is loft conversion speak – don’t be confused by a loft conversion specialist.

 

Convertlofts.com Supporting Leicester City Foxes Foundation

Convertlofts.com is proudly supporting Leicester City Foxes Foundation (registered charity 1144793). The Leicester City Foxes foundation was set up as the final push for the legend ” The Birch” – Alan Birchenall to reach the target of £1 million for charity. The Birch is a Leicester legend and over the last 30 years has amassed a phenomenal amount for the foundation. The foundation supports 10 different charities close to the heart of Leicester (convertlofts.com home town). More information can be found at http://bit.ly/GL1l37

Convertlofts.com supporting Foxes-FoundationYou can do your bit by supporting Ian Stringer, BBC Radio Leicester Football pundit, as he completes his first ever marathon in April 2012. You can sponsor the squares on his t-shirt for marathon day. You will see the latest supporter is the one and widely known “Sven Goran Eriksson”

We at convertlofts.com would love to run the marathon with him but we’re not even fit enough to even run a mile! We’re therefore doing our but and sponsoring Stringer. You may recognise the man as he was also a candidate on the hit BBC1 show “The Apprentice” You can make your donation by visiting : http://www.justgiving.com/foxesfoundation

Keep the faith and we’ll reach the lofty height of £1m together. Come On Leicester!

The weather and impact on Loft Conversion Build

A loft conversion build in the rain should not be a issue – those in the trade are use to drizzle, rain, sleet and snow given the past few seasons. Loft Conversions are versatile and so is the build process and reason why the majority of the construction work can continue in the rain.

It is only when the roof tiles come off then is it highly advisable, a loft conversion company should stand down if it is raining, sleeting or snowing otherwise you would risks damage to your roof structure . If it starts raining later in the construction process  it is not a big issue as heavy tarpaulin is used to protect your roof from the weather. The loft conversion process of removing roof tiles and protecting your roof usually takes about 5-6 hrs therefore it is advisable to always keep an eye on the forecast before your loft conversion company arrives.

Work which can be completed whilst it is not the best of weather can range from

– plumbing
– plastering
– electrics
– skirting, carpentery

It is only the “first fix” in loft conversion speak where one should be concern with the adverse weather conditions otherwise the majority of loft conversion specialists will continue to build that dream and convert your loft. Any questions, please feel free to post a comment

Why “Conversions” is the Buzz word of 2012

Conversions will be definitely the buzz word of 2012 – we’re only into March but I am making a bold statement here. You heard it here first and this is why….

Loft Conversions – make sense. They add value and allow families to grow and allow opportunities to be realised (a working from home room) As working patterns alter with the way people do business – a conversion will allow people to start realising potential of jobs and lives will be changed.

Conversions is also a buzz word from a online business perspective. Everyone is looking to convert whether it be – convert a click on a website to a sale, convert a lead into a contract, convert a speculative job application to a career, convert a like to a love, convert a blog post to a chapter, convert a dream into reality. Conversions will bring smiles to peoples faces, they will start helping people realise the rewards in life.

Loft Conversions should be considered asap as more people begin to realise the name of the game is to convert lofts… that’s it for tonight as I need an early night but thought I’d just put this thought in people mind as they begin to think what will they convert in 2012.

 

Project Managing a Loft Conversion

It may not seem obvious but a loft conversion needs project managing. It should not come to you as a surprise but many loft conversion specialists, sub-contract part of the loft conversion build to specialist tradesmen i.e. plumber, plasterer, carpenter, architect. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this and shows that the loft conversion company overseeing your job is taking all aspects into consideration and using master craftsmen to apply their skilled trade. However, what is key that your loft conversion is a success is that the project is managed effectively. This point is particularly true so that you as a customer are not charged for wasted days and the right job is completed at the right charge in the right amount of time with the perfect finish.

I have seen many times that customers sometimes think they can manage a loft conversion on their own and hire individuals from recommendations they have gathered over the years. This is not as easy as it sounds… firstly, the group of  individuals need to work collectively as a team, they need to have good communication, rapport and be flexible at times as each loft conversion brings its own challenges. They need to be given clear direction and have pre-agreed budgets/time lines. A loft conversion built poorly will cost more in the long run as well as in the short term as other companies are hesitant in “picking up other peoples mess”

Tools which can be used to project manage a loft conversion inc. excel spreadsheets, a white board – first of all one must note down key milestones and the resources completing the job. If you are thinking of completing  a loft conversion on your own, think carefully – this will not only take a lot of skill, know how on planning/build reg process but also a lot of your time. It is only you who can decide whether you have the knowledge, appetite and skill to take on this enormous responsibility where ultimately you are building a room to spend much valued time.

Loft Conversion Cost

Loft Conversion Cost by our resident expert Mark Smith.

The cost of a loft conversion will depend on a number of factors :

– The scope of the loft conversion – en suite, 2 bedrooms, roof space
– The type of loft conversion
– The quality of the material used
– The profit margin of your loft conversion specialist

You may have seen as you browse the web – loft conversion companies advertising your loft converted from £15,000. This I can say in the MAJORITY of cases is not achievable realistically a loft conversion will cost approx. £24,000. In London – £29,000 (purely on the basis of supply/demand) as well as Londoners earning much more on average nationally. This fact is true in Feb 2012 from my experience.

When choosing a company to convert your loft – you should always get 3 quotations as a minimum. DO NOT choose the cheapest as the DEFAULT otherwise you may be burdened with hidden extras. Always look to build the TOTAL COST – ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS have a contract and payment schedule in place.

Its not always a case of the old adage “you get what you pay for” – make sure you research your loft conversion company and at least visit a site in person. DO NOT take photos of previous work as granted – ask to speak to a customer and try make sure you are not hoodwinked into speaking to a family member or close associate. You ideally want someone independent. Contact the FMB and ask if there have been any complaints filled against the conversion company

Finally, a loft conversion will cost you a significant sum of money and it never hurts to ask the loft conversion company for a last price or a loan (this may work out alot cheaper then taking a loan from a bank) At the end of the day – the company wants your business and will do their very best to give you a cracking deal. Its surprising, how few people ask for a last price… it could save you money and make you money through this wise investment in your home.

Did you know…. The cost of your loft conversion could vary by as much as 15% if completed in winter. It is feasible to complete a loft conversion in Winter as long as you are willing to put up with the cold weather.

The “Hidden” Room | Loft Conversion

Answer :  Loft Conversion

Now you may have wondered where this “hidden” room is… For many it can be seen as the “MASTER BEDROOM”. It is not surprising over the years how many people have said to me they never knew they could make such a big room out of the space in their loft. For many lofts are used to store old school books, cds/vinyls, kids toys, old carpet, files and folders. It is where people have their most treasured memories. It is the most undervalued room in the house.

Some people put off having loft conversions completed because of just thinking and thinking and thinking of the sheer size of the job and upheaval it may cause. Some consider making the improvement when they want to move! This is a great move as it does add value but why not have it done sooner and enjoy the room itself.  A loft  in most occasions can be converted in most cases within 5 weeks. The vast majority, 98% carry on living in their home whilst the conversion is being completed. It is an exciting time for all in the family for those considering a loft conversion. In 2012, the UK housing market has somewhat stalled – London keeps attracting young professionals and families looking to build a nest egg and seems also to be loft conversion capital. Many loft conversion companies are concentrating on London, loft conversions london are in high demand … strong housing demand, resilient house prices and London pay packets mean loft conversions are definitely to be considered.

So if your still wondering where is this room? Its called ‘the loft’ – go on convert lofts and we’ll no longer have a housing shortage. You can even then have the “in laws” staying over (well OK lets not push it!)

Dormer Loft Conversions

A dormer is the most common type of loft conversion seen in the UK. It can be described as being basically a “box” on your roof or more correctly put as being “a structural element of a building that protrudes from the plane of a sloping roof surface” (courtesy of Wikipedia) Dormer loft conversions if built correctly can be done suited to the character of the property and take on the “feel” of the original house. Many loft converts have said they feel their best room is in the dormer conversion – many taking on having a bedroom / en-suite complete.

There are many types of dormer conversions that can be taken on, below I have tried to summarise the “dormer shopping list” available to those considering this type of loft conversion:

  • Gable fronted dormer: similar to a “dog kennel” I would say this is probably in most peoples eyes they “most common” loft conversion they can relate to.
  • Hipped roof dormer: the roof slopes back from front of structure to a point farther back, or, a dormer with a hip roof.
  • Flat roof dormer: the roof of the dormer is flat.
  • Shed dormer: A dormer (window) whose eave line is parallel to the main roof eave line. Shed dormers can provide more attic space and head room than gable dormers, but cannot be the same pitch as the main roof and may therefore require different roof sheeting. Often used in gable-roofed homes, a shed dormer has a single-planed roof, pitched at a shallower angle than the main roof.
  • Eyebrow or eyelid dormer “A low dormer on the slope of a roof. It has no sides, the roofing being carried over it in a wavy line.” The bottom of an eyebrow dormer is flat and the top is curved. This type of conversion is more popular for house in the suburbs and I saw fair few when on holiday recently in the US and Spain.
  • Link Dormer A large dormer that houses a chimney or joins one part of a roof to another.

Browse our gallery for a array of dormer loft conversions and discuss with your loft conversion specialist –

It is imperative that you research your loft conversion company diligently – take referrals and go see a completed loft. Loft conversions are not cheap and improperly constructed dormers are prone to leaks and give rise to expensive repairs.

Mansard Loft Conversion

What is a Mansard Loft Conversion?

So you may have heard a loft conversion specialist mention that you should consider a mansard conversion. Mansard loft conversions are popular in urban areas where older properties pre 1950s are prominent. London is a city where you will see alot of mansard conversions – they bring the added benefit of maximising the space in your loft and the ability to make use of all roof space. Generally when one considers a mansard conversion they opt for a flat room due to it being the most cost effective. We have found this type of loft conversion would be the preferred option from a planning perspective in sensitive areas and where original framework of the property is suited therefore keep in character with the property.

The conversion typically has a flat horizontal roof, with the back wall sloping inwards at an angle of 72 degrees. The majority of mansard loft conversions will require planning permission as you will be making a notable change to roof structure. Click on the mansard loft conversions below for a closer inspection.

Did you know…. Mansard Loft Conversions were named after a 17th-century French architect – Francois Mansart